PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Dec 29

Dec 29 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Some of the world’s biggest companies, including General
Electric Co (GE.N: ) and General Motors Co (GM.N: ), are taking a
risky but potentially rewarding step in China — folding pieces
of their world-wide operations into partnerships with Chinese
companies to do business around the globe.

* World-wide spending on oil and natural gas exploration
and development is projected to hit a record next year in a
sign of the energy industry’s confidence that high crude prices
won’t fall and may go higher.

* More than 300 U.S. banks and savings institutions failed
in the past four years. But there are huge differences in how
sick they were when regulators seized them.

* Health insurers are preparing to capitalize on new
opportunities to run privately managed Medicaid plans for the
states.

* GM could face a difficult 2011 but new and refreshed
models beginning in 2012 are reasons investors should buy the
car maker’s stock, according to bullish analysts whose banks
backed the company’s initial public offering.

* After the telecom bubble burst a decade ago, fiber was a
dirty word. Now, the fiber-optic network business is enjoying a
resurgence, particularly for metro fiber, the high-capacity
lines that connect a city’s office buildings, data centers and
cellular towers to the Internet.

* Credit cards that give cash back prompt consumers to
spend more and accrue more debt, according to researchers at
the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The initiation of a 1
percent cash rewards program yielded, on average, a $25 reward
each month — and an increase in spending by $68 a month and in
credit-card debt of $115 a month, the economists say in a paper
to be presented at the American Economic Association meetings
next week.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking
into the trading of shares in privately held companies that
include Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, according to people
familiar with the matter.

* Insurance company Allstate Corp (ALL.N: ) sued
mortgage-originator Countrywide Financial Corp, now a part of
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: ), over $700 million in residential
mortgage-backed securities that the insurer had invested in.

PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Dec 29